As soon as I discovered this champagne pink body suit I knew I wanted it to be paired with a statement piece around my waist. The only combination that I truly loved was with my belly dancing shall with jingling faux coins. I have a very special love for this shall because of the beautiful noise it makes when I dance as well as the way it reminds me of what dancers in Ancient Greece would have worn. I imagine my faux coins are the real thing they once used as they chime along with every move. For almost as long as I can remember I have felt a deep connection to Ancient Greece, in particular the mythology I’d consider one of my first true loves. I spent the day imagining myself as an Ancient Greek beauty and it inspired me to work with some of my favorite myths to recreate stories of my own, painting myself onto oil of some of the tales that have been sources of inspiration for me.
I would have to consider the tale of Orpheus my favorite of the Greek myths. It truly is an awe inspiring tale of epic love and tragedy. Orpheus was an exceptional musician who had been taught by his father Apollo. Orpheus’ skill level was such that even animals would gather to listen to him play his beautiful notes. It would be his music that become his bridge between heaven and hell as he goes on his journey of love redemption. The tale begins with the marriage of Orpheus to Eurydice. The two loved one another with a love that burned brighter than any other but their happiness would not last. One day while Eurydice was frolicking in the wood she captured the attention of a Satyr. Eurydice refused his advances and was forced to flee. In her haste to get away she ran into a pit of snakes and was killed. Orpheus was devastated. He began to play a song that was so sorrowful that he captured the attention of the world, including the Olympians. His father Apollo descended to the Earth and offered his son assistance. Orpheus was led to the entrance to Hades itself. He played his mourning song for the ferryman who was so moved he agreed to transport Orpheus across the River Styx into the Underworld. Once in the Underworld Orpheus played his mourning song time and again, moving all that he met into sorrow, until finally he was granted an audience with Hades the Lord of the Underworld himself. Hades and his Queen Persephone too were moved by the song of love and longing. Hades decided to make a deal with Orpheus. He could lead his love back up to the land of the living under one condition, Orpheus had to trust Eurydice was following behind him, he could not look behind him or she would be sucked back into the underworld. The pair began their trek back to the surface and were just about to reach the land of the living when Orpheus began to fall prey to doubts. “What if I’ve been fooled?” He wondered. “What if Eurydice hasn’t been following along behind me at all?” Unable to resist temptation, as Hades knew he would be, Orpheus turned and looked behind him. There was just enough time to glimpse the look of sadness on Eurydice’s face before she disappeared beneath the surface. The mourning song that Orpheus played from that moment on was beautifully unbearable. He soon was killed by Maenads at the behest of Dionysus but his head remained intact with his essence. He spent the remainder of his existence as an Oracle.
I love the story of the fall of Troy because you can view the story from so many angles. My favorite is the story of Paris and Helen. Helen is famously known as “the woman who launched a thousand ships” Helen was rumored to be the most beautiful woman in the world and as a daughter of Zeus it was likely true. Paris fell in love with Helen while visiting Sparta as an Emissary from Troy. Helen reciprocated the feelings and Paris stowed her away on a ship back to Troy. When all is uncovered Paris refuses to return Helen knowing that they will kill her. Agamemnon the brother of Helen’s slighted husband declares war and ships are launched for Troy. The Siege on Troy lasts for 10 years and Helen is never surrendered. When Troy finally falls is when the story of Odysseus’ Odyssey begins.
The myth of Cupid and Psyche was the first I ever remember reading. Psyche was a mortal woman the most beautiful the world had ever seen. She was so beautiful that Aphrodite the goddess of Love grew jealous. She sent her son Cupid with his bows to shoot Psyche and make her fall in love with a hideous monster. When Cupid saw Psyche he was distracted by her beauty, the rumors had been true. He dropped his own arrow upon his own foot and fell in love instantly. In the night Cupid came cloaked in darkness to express his love for her. Despite her inability to see him she felt her heart return his favor. Cupid made it clear that they could be together happily, he would come to her in the night but she could never look upon his face. For a time
Psyche was alright not knowing the identity of her lover, until her sisters began planting seeds of doubt. “What if he’s a hideous monster? A beast?”
When Psyche could ignore the doubts no longer she devised a plan. While her lover slept she held up a mirror before his face and illuminated his beauty with the flickering glow of her candle. She was shocked by her ethereal beauty. Unnoticed by Psyche candle wax dripped onto Cupid’s nightshirt and burned him. Betrayed he fled into the night. Afterwards he was hidden by Aphrodite. Psyche searched for him aimlessly and in desperation finally asked Aphrodite for help. Aphrodite set before her a series of tasks so daunting that she was nearly killed in the process. Through the power of their love Cupid sensed his beloved departing the Earth and was able to fly his way to her. Witnessing this great love Zeus decided to thwart Aphrodite and grant psyche immortality. Psyche and Cupid brought a divine child into the world who’s name translates into the world pleasure.